Our Journey

Our Journey to becoming Coastguard Tautiaki Moana

As an organisation committed to saving lives on the water, we know the importance of playing our part to prevent drownings and encourage safe boating to help keep Kiwis safe when they’re out enjoying our beautiful oceans, lakes, and rivers.

But there is always room for improvement.

As a water-loving nation and with over 2 million boaties out there, we want everyone, no matter who they are, where they’re from, or their watercraft of choice, to know we’ve got your back out there. We're the people you can turn to whenever you need help.

Whether it's sharing all we know through our education programmes, giving you a tow home or coming to your rescue, we're here for boaties – whatever their waka.

Our new look and feel is designed to do just that. It’s more approachable, friendly, more relevant to all New Zealanders, regardless of their background or experience on the water. In short, it’s closer to who we are today – not an enforcement agency guarding the coastline or checking the size of your catch, but a hard-working crew of professionally trained volunteers enabled by staff, who are simply here to help every single boating, fishing, foiling, kayaking, paddle boarding Kiwi. 24/7, 365 days a year, no matter the weather.

Embracing our ingoa (name), Tautiaki Moana, is an important step in our evolution. We’ve used it for a few years, but now it’s become a visual part of our great Kiwi organisation. You'll soon start to see it on the sides of our rescue vessels, planes, vehicles, at bases and, well - everywhere. It establishes a stronger cultural link, underscoring the wider community work we do to keep more New Zealanders safe, whatever their waka.

Being a charity, we value every single dollar, so both our new name and refreshed new look will gradually roll out in a cost-effective and financially responsible manner. Don’t be surprised to see both our old and new look co-existing together in a hybrid state for a while yet.

Change is good, but it will also take time. We’re doing what we’ve always done, just better. Better for New Zealanders, better for boaties – whatever their waka.

Through our search and rescue service, education and community engagement programmes, we will continue to be there side by side with you. We remain focused on reducing the number of drowning fatalities and being there for all boaties in times of need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you now calling yourself Coastguard Tautiaki Moana?

This decision holds immense significance for us, stemming from the gracious taonga (gift) presented to us by the Te Arawa iwi in August 2021. Being entrusted with our Māori name is an extraordinary privilege that deeply influences our daily actions, our new visual identity, and the way we share our story.

This taonga also symbolises our drive to ensure that everyone, no matter their gender, age or ethnicity, can enjoy Aotearoa New Zealand’s waters safely and with confidence.

How do I say Tautiaki Moana?

If you’re not confident or find it difficult pronouncing Maōri words, the best way to learn is to break the word into syllables. Give it a go!

  • Tau/ti/a/ki - Toe/Tea/Are/Key
  • Mo/a/na – More/ Are/ Nah

What does Tautiaki Moana mean?

The origin of our ingoa (name) is founded in our mahi, which is championed by our whānau of doers. Dedicated volunteers f on the water, in the sky, behind the radios, at our Units and offices, enabled by our staff and putting in the mahi every day to fulfil our mission.

Tautiaki Moana is not a literal translation of Coastguard New Zealand. Instead, it explains the actions we take to ensure that with our help everyone can enjoy Aotearoa New Zealand’s waters safely and with confidence.

Are you changing your logo on everything straight away?

We're approaching this transition with a long-term vision. We’ll incorporate our new logo only on buildings and rescue vessels scheduled for a refit, or those that are new to our fleet. As for materials such as brochures, merchandise, and uniforms, the new look will be introduced gradually as and when current stock runs out and new print runs are needed. While we know it will take time for all this to be seen across all platforms, this method aligns with our commitment to using money wisely. 

Where does the funding come from for the rebrand?

This work has been supported through dedicated budget allocations, entirely separate from the donations or membership fees we receive. We've taken proactive measures to ensure our essential services and operations remain well-resourced. Any expenses related to the roll out of our new look are carefully managed within our existing budgets and future expenditure plans.

Why is this happening now?

With a legacy spanning over a century, we have continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of New Zealanders. With more and more Kiwis taking to the water, now is the time to be more inclusive, accessible, and contemporary, ensuring we remain relevant and responsive to the diverse needs of all our communities, particularly amongst Māori and Pasifika groups where drowning rates are higher.

The decision to evolve our visual identity was not made lightly, but it's a pivotal step in our commitment to expand our education capability, invest in Community Engagement, future-proof our capabilities and services across the motu (country), entice people from all walks of life to join our crew, support underrepresented communities and address the misconceptions that exist around who we are and what we do. 

Why is Coastguard becoming more bi-cultural in its identity, when we are a nation of many cultures?

As an organisation of dedicated volunteers, staff, donors and members, we take immense pride in our cultural diversity – one that mirrors the diversity of those we serve in every community. The change in our name honours the indigenous culture and language of Aotearoa. This is who we are, and it will help us do what we do long into the future.

Why did you change your logo?

Our new logo does a better job of reflecting who we are as an organisation – not a law enforcement agency but a trusted mate saving lives on the water, 24/7, 365 days a year. It also helps broaden our appeal within communities most at risk of drowning, particularly Māori and Pasifika, but also amongst new and younger generations of boaties taking to the water – in whatever waka they choose.

What does the new logo design mean?

The design has taken inspiration from the bow of our rescue vessels – a bold, striking shape that signifies our journey forward together. The wave from the boat's bow connects us to our moana (the ocean), while we've acknowledged our past with a nod to our iconic chevron design. All these ideas come together to create a clean, modern symbol that's unmistakably Kiwi. And of course, our gifted Māori name, Tautiaki Moana, is right there, connecting with everything we do.

What are you doing to improve craft-related drowning fatalities in Aotearoa New Zealand?

As a key player in Aotearoa New Zealand's water safety sector, we know the importance of doing our part to prevent drownings. We are actively engaged in various initiatives and collaborations aimed at significantly reducing preventable drownings.

The Education & Community Engagement arm of Coastguard (formerly known as Coastguard Boating Education) is one of those initiatives, standing as the leading provider of boating courses nationwide. Our comprehensive range of courses caters to diverse abilities, boat types, and training pathways, ensuring that individuals receive the necessary knowledge and skills for safe boating practices.

Among the other projects we've undertaken are several noteworthy campaigns and activities:

  • Our "Old4New" lifejacket upgrade campaign allows individuals to exchange their old lifejackets for new ones at discounted rates.
  • The "Ngā Hue ō Hinemoa" project, which focuses on distributing lifejackets directly to communities in need through our partnerships, addressing barriers to access.
  • Our revitalised and highly successful Bar Awareness programme.
  • A dedicated effort towards bringing to life “Te Anga Whakamua o Tautiaki Moana” our Māori and Pasifika strategy through an array of activities involving iwi and Pasifika community groups, acknowledging and addressing the overrepresentation of these communities in drowning statistics.
  • The introduction of a Day Skipper course delivered in Mandarin, making essential boating education more accessible to diverse language groups.
  • The launch of our inaugural lifejacket advocacy campaign, "Just Wear It."
  • Advocacy efforts supporting the mandatory wearing of lifejackets on vessels of 6 metres and under while underway.
  • Fluent Te Reo Māori tutors trained to deliver Day Skipper and In Water Survival courses in Kura Kaupapa and Bilingual schools in the Auckland and Far North region.
  • We are looking to address the capability gap that exists across our fleet in key strategic areas allowing our volunteers to more safely and efficiently effect rescues in our most at-risk locations.

On top of all this we continue to actively foster a culture of respect for the water, collaborating with other groups to encourage safe boating behaviour across Aotearoa, whatever the waka. We firmly believe these initiatives, as well as ongoing innovations, education, and partnerships, will continue to drive reductions in drowning fatalities and injuries.

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Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity